Behavioral phenotyping of mouse models of neurodevelopmental disorders: Relevant social behavior patterns across the life span

Laura Ricceri, Anna Moles, Jacqueline Crawley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

67 Scopus citations


Social responses are a key element for behavioral phenotyping of mouse models of neurodevelopmental disorders associated with social deficits. Here we describe selected behavioral responses that can be measured in developing and adult mice, with special emphasis on ultrasonic vocalizations, a behavioral response not yet systematically characterized in most of the genetic mouse models of social abnormalities. A recently developed task to measure social approach relevant to the first core symptom of autism is highlighted. We also focus on those developmental factors, including litter size, litter composition, and early social milieu, that are often underestimated when measuring adult social behavior in mouse models of neurodevelopmental disorders. We present a summary of available data concerning social behavioral responses in mice with targeted gene mutations. We conclude by suggesting that assessment of early behavioral traits, and corresponding relationships with adult behavioral profiles, could be a useful strategy to investigate mouse models of neurodevelopmental disorders associated with social deficits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-52
Number of pages13
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 10 2007
Externally publishedYes



  • Homing
  • Maternal potentiation
  • Ontogeny of agonistic behavior
  • Social interactions
  • Ultrasonic vocalizations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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